Surveys conducted 1998 to 2008 (530,849 13-to 15-year-olds, 100 countries) by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found increased tobacco use.
To conduct a systematic review of mentoring to prevent/reduce youth smoking.
Eight electronic peer-reviewed databases and gray literature searched through January 2013.
STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, PARTICIPANTS, AND INTERVENTIONS:
Studies were included if they were randomized controlled trials, included children or adolescents, employed mentoring (consistent companionship, support, guidance to develop youth competence and character), and reported tobacco use.
STUDY APPRAISAL/SYNTHESIS METHODS:
Two reviewers independently assessed abstracts and full-text studies. Disagreements were resolved through consensus.
Four randomized controlled trials were identified. Two studies focused exclusively on tobacco outcomes; the other 2 reported on both drug and tobacco use reductions. Only 1 study reported that mentoring (by peers) reduced adolescent smoking. Heterogeneity of both participants and outcome measures did not permit meta-analysis.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS OF KEY FINDINGS:
There is limited literature on this topic. Further research achieving sample sizes required by power computations, minimizing attrition, and ascertaining mentoring content and achievements from mentor and mentee perspectives is needed.
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